We’ve been asked this question a couple of times recently: what exactly do you do? I thought I‘d take the opportunity to answer this question with a real case showcasing one of the ways we work with our customers. In this particular case, it is a bank. Like most banks, they have consumer debt and this should come as no surprise to anyone. What may not be clear is that many banks do their own collections using subsidiaries specifically set up to do this. Whereas many industries have taken the path of outsourcing collections, large financial institutions tend to keep this activity in-house. Those who have outsourced all or parts of it are rethinking this decision. When you let it go to a third-party, you lose any ability to steer the customer relationship and can more or less presume that that customer will be lost.
So where do we plug in? Well, we are helping these collections subsidiaries reinvent their business. Right now, they remain an operations department without much attention at senior levels of the parent. Collections remain at best an afterthought to this layer which is understandable. Feel free to reference my previous post on where we stand to get a better sense of what I mean with this if it isn’t evident. What management hasn’t realised is that they have the perfect opportunity to take a cost centre and completely reimagine it. Instead of pushing back on collections and demanding of them cost cutting, they can easily start thinking of this as a potential profit center. Instead of figuring out how they can cut costs by decreasing headcount, they can instead focus on making the teams they have far more effective. Additionally, if they address the effectiveness of this department, they can further pursue the opportunity of servicing external third-party debt. If you already have all the experts sitting in your collections subsidiary, what is to keep you from leveraging this entity to generate revenues.
Conversely, as you need to focus evermore on keeping customers happy, why not take the opportunity at this step to make sure that the customers you want to keep aren’t burned as part of the collections process. Or you can even flip the usually negative interaction into a positive one by offering your customer the opportunity to take care of an unpaid bill. As a customer service step you can offer to refinance their loan or potentially even forego part of their repayment to help them through tough times.
With our software, you can make agents significantly more effective. Instead of them just focusing on case after case, you can steer their activity to the highest value opportunities. You can also select agents with specific capabilities to work on cases best fit to them. Further, you can very easily sort out cases which aren’t cost effective to spend any time on. On top of this, you can automate so much of the process that the agents are truly working on things that move the needle verses wasting their time with manual processes from the 90’s. Experts in your collections department in connection with our software are looking at significant gains in recovery rates without increasing any of your costs. As soon as you have this optimisation, you can easily have them working on third-party debt. This leads to a shift from collections cost center to a servicing profit center.
After becoming more effective with our software our customers are in a position to be able to far better score their remaining debt. As our software learns with time and our network effects kick in, we are able to determine how the remaining unpaid debt can and should be priced. We can help our customer sell that debt onward and achieve a far better price than if they were to simply try to find a price themselves.